Sep 30, 2009

Network Announces More ITC Soundtrack CDs
Including Music From The Saint and The Persuaders!

UK-based DVD company network, who over the past few years have produced a steady output of fantastic, multi-disc soundtracks for a number of ITC spy series including Danger Man, The Prisoner, Jason King and others, have announced a new wave of CD titles. Whereas the original releases were sometimes up to five discs and comprehensive, sometimes including multiple variations on the same theme, this wave will be comprised of single disc highlights from each of the box sets. Highlight CDs due out November 2 include Man in a Suitcase: Original Soundtrack Highlights, Danger Man: Original Soundtrack Highlights (drawing from the company's two separate sets covering the original half-hour series and the later hour-long show, known in the U.S. as Secret Agent), The Prisoner: Original Soundtrack Highlights, Department S: Original Soundtrack Highlights and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased): Original Soundtrack Highlights. Each of these single-disc releases will retail for £9.78, which makes them a good option for fans who really want all the key themes and a good flavor of the incidental score from their favorite series, but aren't obsessive enough to require every surviving cue available. (For those of us who are that obsessive, like me, the original sets will remain available.)

But the biggest news of Network's announcement is not the highlights discs. The real news is a two-disc compilation called The Music of ITC. Not only does this essential collection of cool music draw from all of the series listed above, it also includes "exclusive music suites from The Persuaders!, The Zoo Gang, Return of the Saint and The Baron that are not available elsewhere!"

While there are only four cues from The Persuaders!, I am thrilled to have even that! For years the only music available from that series has been John Barry's iconic theme! That theme is present and accounted for, as is the song that plays during the splitscreen chase scene in the first episode. Since Ken Thorne is credited, presumably that means the remaining two cues come from his score music. I'm also excitedly looking forward to the eight tracks representing Return of the Saint (Brian Dee & Irving Martin, John Scott and Guido & Maurizio de Angelis are the credited composers)! Other delicacies include eight selections from The Zoo Gang (consisting of both Paul McCartney's title theme and Ken Thorne's incidental music), three tracks from The Adventurer, seven from The Baron (Edwin Astley) and, finally, eight from The Saint (Astley again). The music from The Saint isn't described as previously unreleased, so I'm a little worried that might be cues already included on Astley's soundtrack album, but hopefully not... Overall, though, there are enough extremely rare musical treasures on this tracklist to have me positively giddy! I can't wait for this CD!

Of course, the hope is that the fact that Network is including these selections on this set means that they're hard at work on full-fledged soundtrack sets for each of these series, and this is only a taster. Here's hoping!

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